Meet our Head of Women's Se...

Meet our Head of Women's Services - International Womens Day 2024

March 2024

3 Min Read

To recognise International Women's Day 2024, our brilliant Head of Service Laura McIntyre told us more about herself and the passion that drives her to do the work she does in the Women's sector.

Tell us a bit about yourself – your likes, dislikes, hobbies etc!

Yesterday at Changing Lives we had our Women’s and Children’s strategy group, very timely on IWD (week). This is one of the best parts of my job, spending time with amazing women who work across our services, delivering excellent support to women and children across the country. I feel fulfilled in spaces with other women, who deeply care about what they do, and spending time with women who can share stories and experiences with you that make you smile, cry, and laugh. Our women services team are the innovators, and they ask questions that make us all stop and think, and they never give up. I am proud to lead our women’s and children’s work across Changing Lives, and in a couple of years’ time it will be 20 years since our women’s pillar / dedicated work was established – this makes me happy and how much of an important role the pillar plays to end violence against women and girls.

We opened the meeting doing our regular ‘check in’ and as everyone went round the room, we shared what #InspireInclusions means to us. This next year we have ongoing plans to ensure inclusion remains at the heart of what we do. One of my takeaways from Sommer's check in was, ‘Use our relationships, power and influence to bring others in’.


Why do you choose to do your job/work in the sector?

I do this job because I am passionate about women and the families we serve, and I believe that practice informs policy and will continue to improve services, with women, to ensure the most marginalised women are not left behind or discriminated against.


Is there a part of your work or something that you feel proud of that you want to highlight?

I am proud that we are an organisation that can provide a national voice to women facing multiple forms of disadvantage and can provide evidence and research to impact local and national systems, and how we've seen shifts in practice because of the work we advocate for.


What is it like working as a Head of Service being involved in so many pieces of work?

My role has grown over the last couple of years and it’s hard to stay connected to all parts of the organisation, I sometimes worry about this, and I am figuring out how best to use my time, and where I put most of my energy, whilst staying true to my belief and values.


This year's International Women's Day is all around inclusivity, what changes would you like to see made across the sector to promote further inclusivity?

For me, this year on IWD I would like all sectors to really think about how inclusive they really are and how accessible their services are for women who might be seen as ‘complex’, and I would like to encourage that we switch this narrative and think about how we reach and support women, instead of seeing some women as the women 'who don’t engage' and think beyond behaviours.

As I speak now, a woman has just text me who I supported a long time ago. She was one of the first women I supported and who had the pleasure to support! I was so new and young, I did everything for her and had zero boundaries. Her message makes me laugh and we chat about the memories we had together, my gosh there were many. We wish each other a happy IWD, and this is the ultimate thing that makes me smile.


Happy International Women’s Day to all those incredible women out there.

My final thought is about remembering the small things that make a big difference and the importance of being consistent in what we do and what we advocate for. The next time you see a woman who might look unsettled or in need of help, a small acknowledgment will go a long way...